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Gmail annotations

19/03/2020

We often hear advertisers complaining that their emails arrive under the "promotions" tab in Gmail boxes. But Google put in place a little over a year ago a "carrot" to motivate marketers to arrive in this tab.

Article updated on 22/05/22.

What are annotations?

Google has already allowed a few years ago to implement advanced features with buttons next to the object lines.

Here, it is aboutimprove the user experience on promotional emails by allowing to add images, promos, expiration dates and offers on these emails.

Gmail example

As you can see in the example above, the idea is to give visibility to an offer even before the email is opened. And the statistics always point in the same direction: the less action there is to see an offer, the better the conversion! Google therefore makes the arrival in the promotion tab much more attractive.

You / Me

Significantly more attractive? How much more attractive?

For now, this feature is active on the Gmail IOS and Android app. Google had announced a deployment on desktop "early 2019", but we are still waiting for this update. So in terms of affected customers, it will obviously depend on your customer database. Moreover, few CRM managers know their opening environments and this is a shame. The opening environment is often confused with the distribution by domain name, as Marion explains in this article.

Then, everything remains (as usual) at the goodwill of Google! It is not because you have encoded the Gmail annotations in your email that your message will automatically rise to the top. Google chooses the email according to the reputation of the sender (it must be excellent on Gmail), the sector of activity or what seems to him the most appropriate.

However, this is to be put in perspective with the technical efforts required. And it turns out that these annotations are relatively very simple to set up. In addition, few CRM managers know about Gmail annotations so take advantage of it! It is also an opportunity to challenge your email design agencies !

Well, what can I do with these annotations

Here are the features currently available:

  • Preview image : It is a simple banner to give a visual context
  • Promotional badge A text zone allowing you to highlight your promotion in very few characters. For example: " Sale -20% " or " Free shipping
  • Logo A round logo, in the imposed format, which will be placed next to your sender's name.
  • Promotional code If your action is accompanied by a specific code, you can also place it in the annotations. Please note that this field will always be preceded by " CODE"Google wants to avoid any misuse of this field.
  • Expiry date To add a little marketing pressure and to specify the eventual end date of your promotion.
  • Object line You can place an alternative object here that will only be visible when the other annotations are visible, to avoid repetition. If for example your object is " Balance -20% until midnight today " and that your promotion badge announces " Sale -20% " and the expiration date is set to today, it is better to have an alternative object to avoid repetition.

Let's talk technique

There are two methods to set this up:

  • JSON-LD This is a script tag to be included in the tag of your email with all the parameters you want to put forward; it is relatively simple to use. Unfortunately, some routers have a problem with the use of the
  • Microdata Here, these are specific tags to be inserted in the body of your email after the tag is opened. This method will be better supported by routers, but we have also encountered cases where the tags needed for this micro data were removed (and if your router does not accept the script tag or the specific tags, no chance. No arms, no chocolate... )

In both cases, learning is relatively simple and everything is explained by Google.

Otherwise, Stripo has released a Gmail annotation generator.

Well, I'm not a developer

Never mind, dear reader, Badsender thought of you! In our beautiful email creation tool, The BossYou don't need to know how to code. You can play with the different options directly from the WYSIWYG interface to use Google annotations, as in the example below :

The Boss interface
The Boss results

The method used here is the microdata method, which is the technique compatible with the largest number of routers.
The Boss allows you to take full advantage of this technology without having to set up any learning or technical requirements on your side.

Nice

Is the performance really better?

Well, as few CRM managers are aware of this, we have little feedback on the subject. We should do an A/B test on Gmail addresses!

Need a design system email ? Or an email design at all? Or an HTML integration for email ? Or an email builder ? We can also offer you :

Badsender also animates a training on the subject of HTML development of an email !

One Response

  1. Hello, this article is very timely! In this period of confinement and telecommuting, I have some time to test (finally!) the different innovations, and this was one of them
    Thank you!

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